Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

Event Details

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Symposium #457
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission Using Behavior Analysis to Teach Behavior Analysis: Projects from Virtual Research Labs
Monday, May 31, 2021
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Area: TBA/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Dana R. Reinecke (Capella University)
Discussant: Brittney Farley (Capella University)
CE Instructor: Brittney Farley, Ph.D.

Educational programming in applied behavior analysis benefits from using behavior analysis strategies in teaching, for an effective and efficient educational process and best outcomes. Additionally, learners are provided with a model and in-depth experience of behavior analysis strategies that they may eventually use in their own teaching and practice. This symposium presents original research conducted by doctoral learners and faculty in a completely online department of Applied Behavior Analysis, via virtual laboratory settings. Behavior analysis strategies used in each research project are based on literature in areas including online learning, behavioral skills training, and equivalence based instruction. Targeted outcomes include dependent variables associated with quality and quantity of academic performance, skill mastery, and demonstration of understanding of higher-level principles. All projects examined strategies that make use of readily-available, user-friendly technology. Participants for each project include Masters-level learners. Completed and preliminary data indicate strong support for the use of each behavior analysis strategy in the teaching of behavior analysis content in the virtual environment.

Instruction Level: Advanced
Keyword(s): equivalence instruction, online learning, skills training, technology
Target Audience:

Target audience is faculty teaching undergraduate and graduate students in behavior analysis courses. Target audience is familiar with various educational approaches for post-secondary teaching and learning, and is interested and familiar with online learning and technology applications for teaching.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Describe various strategies for teaching behavior analysis concepts at the post-secondary level, including equivalence-based instruction, behavioral skills training, and online teaching strategies. 2. Describe ways of experimentally assessing the effectiveness of teaching strategies based on behavior analysis using valid designs within the context of action research in active courses. 3. Discuss ways to measure learner preference for various teaching strategies. 4. Discuss ways to deliver behavior analysis instruction using readily-available consumer technology. 5. Discuss ways to embed training in cultural competence into online behavior analysis coursework.
Diversity submission 

Discussion Boards for Learning, Socializing, and Enjoyment in Online CourseRooms

CHARISSA KNIHTILA (Capella), Danielle Bratton (Capella), Celia Heyman (New Jersey ABA), Kaori G. Nepo (NeurAbilities)

Distance education includes different methods of studying and learning which are not in the context of the continuous and immediate attention of an instructor. A critical component of many distance education programs is the asynchronous online discussion forum, but objective measures of learner performance under different conditions in discussion boards are lacking in the literature. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of discussion group size in online graduate BCBA courses on (a) the quality of learners’ posts and (b) the level of peer engagement in discussion forums. A single-subject alternating-treatments design was used to compare the effects of the size of the group in which participants responded to discussion board prompts. Discussion board group sizes were varied across the 10 units of certain classes in a university ABA Masters program. In some units, groups were small (5-6 learners), and in some units the groups were full class (25-30 learners). At the end of unit eight, students were given the opportunity to vote for their preferred condition. Results found small groups produced slightly higher scores than large groups, but students preferred the large group discussion.

Diversity submission Effects of Equivalence-Based Instruction on Teaching Relational Frame Theory Concepts to Distance Education Learners Using Google Forms™
CELIA HEYMAN (New Jersey ABA), Dana R. Reinecke (Capella University)
Abstract: This study evaluated the utility of equivalence-based instruction to teach basic relational frame theory concepts via Google Forms™ to an audience recruited from social media pages for students of behavior analysis. A multiple-probe across behaviors design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the equivalence-based training. Pretesting selected participants who did not demonstrate knowledge of the concepts that were programmed for training. Generalization probes after training showed that all participants demonstrated identified the relational frame when presented with a novel example. Findings that equivalence based instruction was effective in this context contributed to the existing research by demonstrating the utility of equivalence based instruction for teaching novel subject matter. Additionally, the study departed from much of the previous equivalence based instruction research (Brodsky & Fienup, 2018; Rehfeldt, 2011) in that it employed a single-subject design to answer the experimental questions. Lastly, the study helped instructors disseminate and implement equivalence based instruction using readily-available consumer technology. This contributes to a larger scale dissemination efforts aimed at reducing the disconnect between equivalence based instruction research and practice (Blair & Shawler, 2019; Fienup, 2020; Fienup & Critchfield, 2011). Social validity measures showed that all participants found their experience to be satisfactory and would recommend this type of instructional method to learn other concepts. Participants also found the time commitment to complete the training to be appropriate.
Diversity submission Effectiveness of Online Asynchronous Behavioral Skills Training for Teaching APA Skills to Graduate Students
DANIELLE BRATTON (Capella), Dana R. Reinecke (Capella University)
Abstract: Faculty in online graduate behavior analysis programs are tasked with teaching complex content to adult learners in a predominately asynchronous instructional model and often, instructors must choose to allocate their time to developing student synthesis of content with the expectation of graduate level writing skills which may not be present. When writing is a significant factor in career outcomes within the field, it cannot be dismissed. The use of an evidence-based instructional system such as behavioral skills training to teach specific writing targets could minimize time spent on repeatedly correcting writing errors and allow faculty to develop the evaluative and analytical skills of students. Participants included Master’s-level learners completing a certification program in behavior analysis. Behavioral skills training was used to systematically teach APA formatting skills and in-situ assessment data was gathered on written assignments to analyze generalization. Preliminary data indicate strong support that participants more readily acquired skills explicitly taught through behavioral skills training in comparison to written feedback, and generalized these skills on written assignments.
Diversity submission Addressing Diversity through Cultural Humility Reflections in Behavior Analysis Graduate Education
JULIANNE LASLEY (Capella University ), Jacob Papazian (Chitter Chatter PC ), Andrea Murray (BCBA-D), Renee Wozniak (Capella University), Shawn Capell (Covenant 15:16 LLC ), Rachel Cooper (Capella University)
Abstract: Research is limited with respect to techniques used in behavior-analytic graduate programs to teach graduate students of behavior analysis how to recognize one’s own cultural bias when working with clients. This study is evaluating a strategy for formally incorporating diversity training into graduate education in behavior analysis. Specifically, this study will evaluate the effectiveness of a packaged intervention which includes a self-reflective cultural humility questionnaire in combination with identifying examples and non-examples of culturally responsive practice scenarios in behavior analysis on one’s cultural competence. Participants include groups of students enrolled in a behavior-analytic ethics graduate course. A multiple-probe baseline design across groups is being used in this study and one pre-probe data point has been gathered. It should be noted that the dependent measure in the study includes a self-report on a survey. At this point only one pre-probe data point has been gathered and therefore any conclusions regarding the effectiveness of the procedures cannot be drawn at this time. This data point represents the average score on the cultural competence of program evaluators survey for over 29 participants. Results may have implications for graduate training programs on how to increase competence in cultural diversity.



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